Italian coach Claudio Ranieri retires after 37 years in management

Claudio Ranieri, who famously led Leicester City to a shock Premier League title in 2016, has announced his retirement from football at the age of 72.

The Italian's last match as a manager was Cagliari's 3-2 home defeat to Fiorentina on Thursday, where he received a rousing ovation from fans at the Sardegna Arena as well as a guard of honour from his players.

"There is a beginning and an end to everything. It is only fair: to close the circle in this way, where I had started, is something I dreamed of and the dream was wonderful," Ranieri, who previously managed Cagliari in 1988, told reporters on Thursday.

Italian coach Claudio Ranieri retires after 37 years in management

Ranieri, who has managed a string of Serie A teams including Juventus, Roma and Inter Milan, is best known for guiding Leicester to a fairytale Premier League title.

He also managed Chelsea, Fulham and Watford in the Premier League, as well as Valencia and Atletico Madrid in Spain's LaLiga.

"Luck does not fall on you, it has to be sought. I was a lucky man: I wanted to be a footballer, I managed to do it. Then when I was 30 I tried to understand if I understood soccer, I tried and I succeeded," Ranieri said.

"As a player I was not a great champion, but as a coach I had a lot of fun. For me it was an honour to be in the world of soccer."

Cagliari president, Tommaso Giulini, praised Ranieri's impact on the club, saying in a ceremony after Thursday's match: "I don't want to talk about what the coach did in Cagliari. You all know that.

"I would like to focus on what he leaves us with: grace, loyalty, determination and courage, the most beautiful values of sports. Thank you, Claudio!" 


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